The final days are here. Today I finished and submitted my dissertation. How happy am I? I am ecstatic, but in need of sleep, sleep, and sleep. These past three months have been hectic with work, stress and getting into the idea that I will graduate. How was I able to cope with this semester? Here are my tricks to help you with.
Firstly, it is important to make yourself a timetable. A kind of daily routine in order to get you going (especially if you only happen to have 6 hours of class per week). Therefore, every day I told myself I would spend 4 hours min at the library, either from 9:00 am until 13:00pm, or during the evenings (And what better place to study than good, beautiful old Maughan?). I seriously think I have never adored a library more than this one, and trust me I visited several: from Senate House, to UCLs, to Waterloo’s and Guy’s.
Indeed, there will be days in which my brain will not function. I have realized that during these days it is necessary to do other activities. Do not force yourself to study if your brain doesn’t want it. Your brain is telling you it needs a break, so focus on something else. To be productive you will certainly need to balance your activities. I would go for runs at Regent’s Park, or meet up with my friends for lunch, or even go to galleries. Doing different things will help you stay motivated and work better. I recently watched a Ted talk which actually emphasized how ‘good students’ instead of planning when you should study, you should plan when will you be doing your activities. That way, you will be able to work very hard prior to your activities, and that will make you enjoy much more your activity. In fact, this break will be your reward for studying so well.
I also work part-time, my job as a head-waitress can sometimes be stressful but other times the perfect escape. It is a completely different environment where the skills used are completely different from those used in my course. Doing something completely different takes my mind of my studies and allows me to escape and realize I have a life outside my course as well. Whether you work, or are a member of a society, do cherish these moments and activities. It will keep you well-rounded.
Finally, coffee, food any kind of energy is a good energy to keep you going. These months will be the hardest ones so it is important that you feed your body at the right times and try avoid stress eating – trust me stress eating will not help you face your problems. Although it’s bad, I must say coffee kept me going, alive and well! I think it was my best friend through these hard months.
But here I am now, I have finally handed in my dissertation and am on my way to graduating. I can now enjoy sunny London without having to spend my days at the library. I can now relax before it’s time to study, once again, for exams. But until then, I will be sleeping.